The Effects of Computers on People`s Lives

The Effects of Computers on People's
By Sharon Penn, eHow Contributor
The Information Age
Because of the computer, we are now in what is termed the Information Age.
People have instant access to information on the Internet that was previously
either hard to find or unavailable to the public. A shift away from an economy
based on traditional industries has taken place, and our economy now deals
with manipulating information. Computer networking and communication has
promoted the global economy, and on a personal level consumers can do
comparative shopping for quality and pricing at the touch of a button, right
from their home or office. Video calls, once considered "space-age
technology," are commonplace, allowing friends and families to keep in touch
over distance. Research and advice on a broad range of topics, from real
estate to child-rearing, is available online. However, people must evaluate the
validity of the information they receive on the Internet, because many Internet
sources are not credible.
Online Resources
Not so long ago, college students sat in classrooms and consumers
went to the mall to fulfill their needs. Nowadays, the computer has
provided more options. Online universities are flourishing and traditional
colleges and universities provide opportunities for students to take
courses online. The flexibility provided by online education is ideal for
students who are juggling other responsibilities like work and family. Even
those who take classes sometimes make use of coursework available
online. Shoppers now expect goods and services to be available over the
Internet, and a few minutes can yield a wealth of information about
products and services. Placing an online order can be quick and easy,
with stored information regarding payment options and addresses.
Social Networking
Social networking on websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
has become more and more popular, first with the younger generations
and then with everyone else. People stay connected to each other and
rediscover old friends. Sites like Linkedin are professional social networks
with more than 100 million members. These websites connect people in
business to form a broad network of professionals where they exchange
knowledge and business opportunities. Companies are now using social
networking websites to disseminate information about their products and
their industry in general, driving sales.
While many of the effects of computers on people's lives have been
positive, there are some ongoing concerns. With personal information
available online, some people have fallen victim to identity theft and have
lost time and money correcting the situation. Child safety is another issue,
and parents are learning that they must monitor their children carefully
when they are using the computer. Other issues of concern are our
dependence on computers, and what will happen if service is disrupted.
The workplace has changed because of computers, and workers
sometimes need to be trained in new computer programs.